How to stay green while travelling

Global Citizen By Dear Alyne November 19, 2018

WU Brand Ambassador Dear Alyne is a World Citizen and has been to 72 countries around over the Globe. She is a WU customer and guest blogger who we’ve teamed up with. Follow along with her adventures, here: 

Being environmentally friendly while travelling is becoming more and more popular – and that’s a good thing! Unfortunately, many of us don’t exactly know how to do it. We know we want to offset our carbon footprint, but when in a new place with new things I wasn’t quite sure where to start. So, I started looking for opportunities to be “more green”. I know I’ll never be perfect (none of us probably will!) but every little bit helps. One suggestion I heard over and over, and that I finally tried, was shampoo bars. Shampoo bars look like a little circular bar soap like what you’d get from a hotel, but it’s shampoo! And some of them are even cruelty-free. You can carry the shampoo bars in a small tin or plastic bag and use them over and over; you just lather them with water in your hands and rub the lather in like shampoo. It’s amazing! There are also conditioner bars but as I have coarse curly hair, I haven’t been brave enough to try those yet.

Okay, now that you have fresh beautiful hair it’s time to visit that zoo or animal park and take a selfie, right?! Not exactly. A rule of thumb a zoologist once gave me is that if you can get close enough to a wild animal to take a selfie with it, it’s probably not an ethically sound situation and definitely not a good situation for the animal. We all love cute cuddly animals and it’s so tempting to take a cool selfie with them, but if we REALLY love them, we must resist because wild animal selfies support the illegal wild animal trade. Lessening your impact on nature means no riding elephants, no tiger selfies, and no bear dancing (chaining up bears and having them dance). Every time you resist you keep your footprint on the world smaller!

Once you head back to town after sightseeing, you might stop to grab some things at the grocery store. Whenever I stop for snacks, I say no to plastic. If I can carry it or put it in my purse, I do. Many of our foods are now prepackaged, meaning they already create waste. Putting a croissant that’s already wrapped in plastic into another plastic bag is completely unnecessary. I also prefer not to order takeout if I can avoid it, because many countries use OBSCENE amounts of plastic to wrap their takeaway orders. In Singapore recently, I ordered Thai food and EVERYTHING was in individual plastic containers. It was like the Russian stacking dolls of plastic: the spices were in plastic, they were inside the plastic container of noodles, which was inside the plastic bag. Even our cans of soda were wrapped in…PLASTIC! After eating our table was like a plastic graveyard. Never again! Now I eat at a restaurant, order room service, or grab some food at the grocery store that I can make myself.

What are your eco-friendly tips? I’m always interested in learning more ways we can keep this earth clean and beautiful